Marshfield Community Land Trust
Consultation on Proposed Site for Affordable Housing
Saturday July 21st Community Centre; Small Hall 12.00 noon
- What is the MCLT and what does it do?
- The MCLT is a non-profit making organisation which aims to secure assets which are of benefit for the local community.
- Its first project has been to search for a site on which it can build some affordable housing to be held in perpetuity for people with local connections, either current residents or those who have an existing family or employment connection.
- It aims to provide affordable rented homes plus some homes for shared ownership in line with the evidence from the 2013 Marshfield housing needs survey.
- How is it possible to build affordable housing given the price of land?
- National and local planning policy recognises that there is a problem in building affordable homes given the price of land inside settlement boundaries.
- So it is possible for groups such as the MCLT to get planning approval on land where planning permission would not normally be given for full commercial market housing (eg Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). A small number of market homes may also be allowed.
- What has the MCLT been doing to find some land?
- MCLT started its search by looking at a wide number of sites around the Marshfield settlement boundary and contacted a number of landowners to see if they were interested in selling land. We had a number of conversations but did not actually manage to secure a site in over two years.
- So how have you acquired the site you are now proposing for consultation?
- We extended our search to sites which are ‘related to’ Marshfield (ie nearby) rather than adjacent to the boundary. We have also used the possibility of some market housing to offer landowners with a suitable site a small number of plots in exchange for the land needed for affordable housing. This proved to be more attractive to landowners.
- How many houses do you expect to build?
- We expect to build 18 houses of which 12 will be affordable housing to include some for rent and some for shared ownership. There will be three market plots for the landowner and three market plots which will cross subsidise the affordable houses.
- We hope that the result will be a small group of houses with a mix of house sizes, designs and tenures.
- What size houses do you expect to build?
- We will have more knowledge on what is needed when the new housing needs survey has been completed. The results from that will allow us to make final decisions about the size and configuration of the housing to be provided.
- We anticipate that there will be a mix of affordable housing to include one, two and three bedroomed houses or flats. The market houses are likely to be three/four bedroomed.
- How will the MCLT ensure the houses are of good quality and design?
- Look at Wessex CLT housing site and you will see the quality of CLT sites
- The MCLT intend that the design of housing and the site layout will be developed in consultation with the village
- Whatever we do it will be subject to South Gloucestershire Council policies that take account of environmental considerations including landscape and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt and AONB.
- What happens after this meeting?
- If the meeting supports MCLT’s preferred site the next step will be to explore whether the site is feasible in terms of issues such as access, financial viability and the nature of the design. Our request for planning approval will be pushing at the limits of planning policy so we know there are significant challenges to overcome.
- There is no legally binding agreement between the MCLT and the landowner until these issues have been determined and it is clear that it is a suitable site and that affordable housing can be delivered on that site. The MCLT and the site owners accept that the feasibility study could find that the project is not viable.
- To undertake a feasibility study MCLT will select an architect and a partner housing association who will work with us throughout the project.
- The housing association and the architect will provide professional support. Further support will be available from the Wessex Community Land Trust Project who have already worked with a considerable number of CLT’s to deliver affordable housing across the south-west. Their experience has been and will continue to be extremely valuable in supporting MCLT.
- If the meeting does not support our preferred site the MCLT Board will reflect on what it does next and whether there are concerns it can address or it needs to move on to find another site.
- Which site are you proposing to the village?
- Full information about the site and the proposed way forward will be provided at the public meeting on July 21st. We hope to see you there.